While many Boston Red Sox supporters may be satisfied with the team's signing of ace starting pitcher David Price to a whopping seven-year contract worth $217 million to bolster the team's ailing rotation, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski may not be as content.
The free-spending Red Sox have been one of a flurry of teams to contact free agent starting pitcher Johnny Cueto over the past week, with Dombrowski expressing his interest in acquiring the experienced top-of-the-line starter.
While Boston owner John Henry has made it clear that he will stop at nothing to acquire the best arms in the MLB to improve a pitching staff which ranked 24th in total ERA in 2015, having added both Price and closer Craig Kimbrel so far this offseason, Cueto's price tag could be daunting to the Red Sox.
The 29-year old right-hander, who garnered an 11-13 record and a 3.44 ERA while with the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals last season, recently rescinded a six-year, $120 million offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks, potentially searching for a higher dollar amount or a more extensive commitment from a ballclub before latching on with a team.
However, Cueto may not be worth signing to a more lucrative deal based on his performance with Kansas City after being traded to the eventual world champions at the trade deadline, a surefire red flag for the Red Sox and other potential landing spots such as the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals.
After starting the season with a 7-6 record, 2.62 ERA and 0.934 WHIP in 19 starts in Cincinnati to begin the season, Cueto's statistics dwindled once he was acquired by the Royals.
Expected to become the ace in a pressure-packed pennant race, Cueto's ERA ballooned to 4.76 while his WHIP increased to 1.451 in 13 starts with Kansas City prior to the postseason.
In the postseason, his batting average against, which stood at just .223 with the Reds earlier in the season, jumped to a harrowing .351 in the playoffs, with opposing batters hitting .476 off of his slider and .419 off of his cutter in the postseason, which could scare contenders such as the Red Sox away from "Johnny Beisbol."